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By Carmine Gallo published on BNET.com 4/02/2008
Comparing a Steve Jobs presentation to most presentations is impossible — he’s in a league all his own. Apple’s chief executive is arguably the most charismatic pitchman in business today. His presentations are brilliant demonstrations of visual storytelling that turn customers, employees, and the entire computer industry into evangelists. The Apple website streams video of Jobs’s keynotes, which make excellent learning tools. In January 2007, Jobs gave perhaps his greatest presentation to introduce the new iPhone. This speech demonstrates the techniques he and other inspiring leaders use to wow their audiences – techniques you can use in your next presentation. For more tips, watch our BNET video on Jobs' presentation secrets. Things you will need:
• $0. Although Jobs relies on a team of designers to create amazing slides, you can replicate his techniques for nothing. • 10 hours to rehearse for a new 30-minute presentation. It may sound like a lot, but if you want Jobs-style drama, you need to know your material cold. • A Vision: If your topic can’t be summed up in 10 words or less, it’s too broad. • A Clear Structure: An organized speech is easier for the audience to follow. • Visuals: Eye-catching graphics form the basis of the most compelling slides. • Dramatic Flair: A few time-tested storytelling devices help build excitement.
Ignite Your Enthusiasm
Goal: Engage your listeners’ passion by tapping into your own.
Steve Jobs is passionate about designing cool, fun, and easy-to-use computers, digital music players, and now phones. And he’s not too bashful to admit it. His words and phrases reflect his enthusiasm. These quotes are from the iPhone launch and from previous presentations: “We’re going to make some history together today...” “Today we’re introducing revolutionary products...” “We’ve got amazing stuff to show you this morning...”
. If you honestly believe that something is “amazing.. but when asked to deliver that message in front of others. they fall into presentation mode: serious. It’s incredible. monetize. you know • Kinda • Sorta • Uh. etc. he rallies his listeners to the better future he sees and..” “This is the coolest thing we’ve done with video. how is your audience going to be? What Not to Do Strike These from Your Speech Some words and phrases.) Navigate the Way Goal: Present your theme as a mantra to help your listeners remember it easily. if you’re not passionate about the topic. and formal.. Jobs has always been able to craft a vision so vivid and powerful.. They might be passionate about their story.” “This is an incredible way to have fun. however. are meaningless. persuades them to go along for the ride. • Maybe • I think • Well. optimized. and overused. mission-critical. and many public speakers consider him to be a role model for their own presentations. feature. and other filler words • Buzzwords of any type (e. You don’t have to eradicate each and every one of them from your speech.“This is an awesome computer..g. stiff. do most speakers take the opportunity to express their excitement about a particular product.. synergy. we are giving you permission to be excited and passionate and to have fun! After all.” go ahead and say it. -2- . trite. like the ones below.. Sculley was reluctant.. slam-dunk. glum. As listeners. Um. in so doing. Ah. Rarely.” “We are so excited about this. no-brainer. When Jobs was attempting to lure then-Pepsi CEO John Sculley to lead Apple.” Jobs is exciting to hear. but try to avoid them as much as you can. or service.
This brings up the problem — how do you get around the screen with no scroll wheel or stylus? -3- .” By letting your listeners in on the structure. then offer your solution. “So that’s Time Capsule. and that’s the first thing I wanted to show you this morning. A solution is inspiring only when it cures a real-world pain. bold. Note that it is also under ten words. Sell the Benefit Goal: Explain the real-world problem. concise mantra. For example. This mantra is simple. and reflects a concise core purpose that is easy for listeners to remember and to rally around. which take up more than one-third of the phone whether the person is using them or not. during his Macworld 2008 keynote. One would be fortunate to work on just one of these in your career. The Apple solution is to create a “revolutionary interface” that will get rid of the buttons and create one giant screen. Jobs sells the benefit of the phone by first describing the current state of the industry.” At this point in the presentation. That is what iPhone is.Jobs asked him. Jobs said. Nitty Gritty Outline Your Presentation Even after Jobs has articulated his vision in a clear.” Jobs said during the iPhone launch. “This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years. then opens and closes each section with clear transitions. “Every once in a while. Apple has been very fortunate to introduce a few of these in the world. giving listeners permission to believe in the vision he is about to describe: “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!” To reinvent the phone. you help them understand where they are in your story. “is [smartphones] are not that smart. “Do you want to sell sugar water all of your life or do you want to change the world?” Jobs’s vision is to change the world. We want to make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been and super easy to use.” Jobs continues to describe the problem on most smartphones: keyboards. Jobs reminds his audience about the Macintosh and the iPod. a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. The problem. He starts by describing the structure. he continues to navigate the way by providing a verbal outline for his presentations. and we believe him. he says. Once Jobs reveals his one-liner — his core vision — he immediately launches into a discussion of why the world needs a new phone. a perfect companion to Leopard. and they are not that easy to use.
Jobs sets up a problem and offers a solution: “We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world.” Jobs then describes Apple’s new “multi-touch” technology that accurately responds to the touch of a finger to bring up applications on the phone. Once the problem was solved. or lists of numbers on slides. Jobs continued as if it had all been planned. publicly praising them at the end of his presentation. “A device we’re all born with. He used the opportunity to make an emotional connection with his audience. Our fingers. Paint a Picture Goal: Use a captivating storyline to structure your presentation. Most speakers describe the solution before the problem.” he says. Tell personal stories. he repeated the three products three times. Stick to the rule of three. mind-numbing data. peers. knowing that someone backstage would take care of it. they were praised in front of their families and thousands of media. analysts. 3. Participating in the creation of a revolutionary product certainly must have kept them energized. then delivered the knockout: “These are not three separate devices. Instead. Jobs tells the iPhone story by using several techniques: 1. But Jobs capped off their effort by asking them to stand. This is one device! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!” 2. you will not find bullet points. How do you think his employees would have felt if Jobs had taken all the credit? It would have been demoralizing. then told a story about how he and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak had built a TV jammer and used it to block TV signals at Wozniak’s college dorm. The first is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. We remember lists in groups of three.” For added emphasis. and partners who were assembled for the launch. He mentioned it with a smile. Jobs’s clicker suddenly stopped working. During one section of the presentation. In a Steve Jobs presentation. Jobs unveiled the iPhone and built drama at the same time by saying. Hot Tip Encourage Others to Reach Their Potential Jobs asked a team to work around the clock for two years to create the iPhone. Keep it visual. the second is a revolutionary mobile phone. When Jobs mentioned each of the three products — an -4- . Jobs flips it around to make it easier for the listener to follow.Again. Effortless but powerful. and the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. “Today we are introducing three revolutionary products.
Rehearse. what he is going to demonstrate. Jobs said. Adapted from Fire Them Up: 7 Simple Secrets to Inspire Your Colleagues. All Rights Reserved. Jobs rehearses presentations for hours. Near the end of his iPhone launch. Since his earliest days of tinkering with computers. 4. He knows the flow of his story. not where it has been. Motivation takes preparation. Too much text on the screen distracts from the speaker’s words.’ We’ve always tried to do that at Apple since the very beginning and we always will. Jobs has had an unshakable belief that his products would change the world. Big Idea Reinforce an Optimistic Outlook Nobody launches revolutionary products without an optimistic outlook. how he is going to build up to a big moment. Customers and Clients by Carmine Gallo. Strike the right balance between visual and verbal by creating slides that are big on images and low on text. -5- .” Always end your presentations on a hopeful note. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be. Copyright © 2007 CNET Networks. Inc.iPod. a phone. an Internet communicator — a slide with an image of the product appeared. In each of his presentations. and how he will open and close the presentation. He appears effortless — but only after hours of rehearsal. “There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. Jobs speaks the language of hope and opportunity. When he discussed the “ultimate pointing device” — your fingers — all the audience saw on the screen was an image of a finger touching the iPhone. Nothing is taken for granted.
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